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Cost Of Restoring A bike

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Cost Of Restoring A bike

Old 09-27-21, 04:28 AM
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Colorado Kid
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Cost Of Restoring A bike

I have a '81 Schwinn 11.8. I am in the process of restoring this barn find. I discovered the hills (mountains) around here beg for a triple. So it was back to the shop, again! To date, I guess I have spent about $1,300 USD on rebuilding this bike. (Bike+ rebuilding cost.) Is that average? What did you spend to get your bike to get it back on the road?
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Old 09-27-21, 05:21 AM
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You need to make friends that know about working on bikes. I learned as I went in restoring a Cannondale Criterium and came out the other side just fine. Powder coating and ebay parts throughout. New consumables. You really need to take the bike shop out of the mix. Sorry for being frank, but they'll bleed you dry. $1,300 made me cringe. I hope it's your forever bike. Take a cue from the guy that learned how to fish and never went hungry again.

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Old 09-27-21, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
I have a '81 Schwinn 11.8. I am in the process of restoring this barn find. I discovered the hills (mountains) around here beg for a triple. So it was back to the shop, again! To date, I guess I have spent about $1,300 USD on rebuilding this bike. (Bike+ rebuilding cost.) Is that average? What did you spend to get your bike to get it back on the road?
Ouch. No, I don't think for these forums that would be average.

It would benefit you in the future to learn some rebuild/restore/refurbish/reimagine tips from the forums (here), by youtube (RJ the Bike Guy...it's all in good humor), Park's website and simply by doing. Also, it is really relaxing (most of the time)

Also, as much as I want to support bike shops when it makes sense, when it comes to vintage, they are not cost effective, and sometimes not good at the vintage stuff, which is a bit of an art form.
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Old 09-27-21, 06:18 AM
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Here is a listing for my 81 Centurion Pro-tour frame.
Frame from BF - $225.00
Wheels Deore LX hubs, Velocity Dyad rims from BF - $225.00
Shimano 105 RD-5701 Road Bike Bicycle Rear Derailleur 10 Speed $33.15
Shimano 105 FD-5701 Road bike Front derailleur $6.00
Shimano 105 5700 Triple shifters - $105.00
Shimano CS-M771 MTB 11-36T 10-speed Cassette - $46.00
Sakae CR Triple Touring Road Bike Crankset 28/46/50 T 170mm $39.99
Tires Panaracer TourGard 42mm Front and 35mm Rear $14 + $15.75=$29.75
Thorn proof tubes from BF shipping $12.95
Velo Orange VO Zeppelin 52mm Fenders 700c Set Polished Silver Aluminum Alloy- $28.56 + $8.49=$37.05
Nitto M1 Mark's Rack BF - $85
Nitto 42cm struts - $22.00
KMC Chain 10 speed $28.00
Brooks Flyer and Cannondale leather bar tape $120.00
Sakae riser stem $15.65 + $5.90 = $21.55
Velo Orange Mojave Bicycle Bottle Cage $24.94 + $6.80 = $31.74
DIA COMPE FRONT CENTER PULL BRAKE CABLE HANGER 1" $7.99
Dia-Compe 1501 Ss Top Tube Casing Clips 25.4 Silver 3 $12.98
Shimano Down tube cable stops $2.00 + $5.95=$7.95
Acorn Med Randonneur Bag $195.00
Acorn Tool Roll $72.00
Cables, housing from Lancaster Co-op $15
$1417.10

So you are not far off. This was with help from BF and eBay.

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Old 09-27-21, 07:05 AM
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I buy in bulk from a friend with a wholesale account and have collected tools over the years so my cost per bike is very low. If you shop around and wait to ship from across the world you could likely come up with something similar.

My usual cost in $CAD, however not every bike needs everything while some need more. These are decent quality replacements for flips but one can spend a lot more on a lot nicer things.

$20-30 tires
$8 cables and housings
$2-8 brake pads
$10 tubes and rim tape
$6-8 chain
$12-15 saddle
$5-15 brake hoods/new levers
$2-5 bearings, grease and paper towels
$10-15 pedals
$5-10 bar tape/grips
$10 misc hardware and supplies
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Old 09-27-21, 07:13 AM
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Yeah, for a flip I usually get it done for less than $200. Way less if I can get away with not having to buy tires, which always cost more than I want.

You need to learn to do more of these things yourself and only go to the LBS if you get yourself in a jam.

Also, I don't trust your LBS isn't steering you wrong. I mean, going to a triple is a pretty expensive and involved solution to a gearing problem, especially given that more gears doesn't necessarily mean *better* gears.
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Old 09-27-21, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
I have a '81 Schwinn 11.8. I am in the process of restoring this barn find. I discovered the hills (mountains) around here beg for a triple. So it was back to the shop, again! To date, I guess I have spent about $1,300 USD on rebuilding this bike. (Bike+ rebuilding cost.) Is that average? What did you spend to get your bike to get it back on the road?
I've spent a widely variable amount on restoring old bikes. I'm not a collector of expensive components, so I usually search out mid range parts.
I think it all depends on what you think of your bike and what it will be worth to you when you finish. Compare that to the cost of new bikes these days and you will usually be able to build something nice.
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Old 09-27-21, 07:36 AM
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Of the 4 bikes I’ve restored starting with the frame only, spent a bit more, but that included new paint and decals, professionally done. On the restorations where I had a whole bike, and could get away with touching up the paint, quite a bit less. Except for repaints, and total wheel rebuilds, I do most of the work myself.
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Old 09-27-21, 07:43 AM
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It's pretty easy to spend over $1000 total to come up with a pretty-darn-nice--but-not-unobtanium vintage bike.
The difference is whether those funds are spent totally on really nice parts, or half on OK parts and the rest on someone else's labor.
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Old 09-27-21, 07:43 AM
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You guys have just shown me why I, a consummate bookkeeper in pretty much everything else, do not keep financial records on the bikes I'm planning on keeping long term.
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Old 09-27-21, 07:58 AM
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Old 09-27-21, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
You guys have just shown me why I, a consummate bookkeeper in pretty much everything else, do not keep financial records on the bikes I'm planning on keeping long term.
It's to have a level of deniability to yourself.

@OP I spent various amounts on the bikes here but it really depends on how much you do. I have often built new wheels which is a lot more expensive than just replacing the consumables (brake pads, cables, handlebar wrap and tyres) which often limits the cost to €30-100 ($35-116).
Anything I build to flip doesn't always get the same love because bikes are relatively cheap where I live and selling them without losing money is often impossible.

Mind you, I have a tendency to do more work on my bikes than I should. Or use fancier parts than needed. I'm contemplating a build around a $500 silent hub for example.

To give you an idea:
  • This Gazelle Grand Tourist cost me well over €500 to build, even while using second-hand hubs for around €25 each. I sold it for €350 + a beater bike.
  • The Batavus Randonneur GL probably cost me close to €1000
  • The Koga-Miyata Graveller is less expensive but was also supposed to be a cheap test platform. New wheels and some shiny parts and it probably sits around €700 now?

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Old 09-27-21, 08:04 AM
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At one point as a teen with low money, I decided that tools were cheaper than shop labor, especially if a task was needed more than once. Thats when I bought a crank puller, and a bottom bracket wrench along with a set of cone wrenches. Not long after that I bought freewheel, cassette tools and a chain whip. Allen bolts got popular so I got those wrenchs a few years later.

Its not very often that I bring my bike to a shop but it does happen. I do that for for very specific tasks like chase and reface. For smaller tasks local coop and bike kitchens, nonprofits, are great places. They have most tools and a body that can guide you through the process. The local nonprofits will charge money for the stand time, but it is a pittance, and you will leave with knowledge and a feeling of accomplishment, these people can be a hooting good time to chat with, lol.

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Old 09-27-21, 08:41 AM
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I've fiddled with enough bikes and parts over the years (and bought and sold lots of them) that I can pretty much build up a frame and fork from what I have on hand these days. The only thing I seem to have to buy to finish a build are gear and brake cables (which I do in bulk), bar tape, sometimes tubes. I suppose those are all sunk costs, and a wise accountant could probably tell me how much I'm actually spending on each build, but I'd likely ignore that.
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Old 09-27-21, 09:07 AM
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.
...I do all the work myself, and the majority of my parts supply comes from the local bike co-op.
So I didn't spend as much money on this Voyageur 11.8, but I do think they are very fine riding bicycles.

So you will doubtless enjoy it more than a trip to Vegas.

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Old 09-27-21, 09:40 AM
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I don't actually "restore" my bikes. I rebuild them and rarely change the paint job. I hunt around for parts and things and use my LBS for consumables . I am having my Colnago repainted so that one will be "restored" I guess but it came to me in great mechanical shape and ready to ride so the $500-$600+ for a nice paint job with original decals and clear coat doesn't bother me. I don't really keep track of my purchases because it is my hobby and it is cool to get a neglected old racing bike and fix it up. I do all my own work so it is just whatever parts I want for a project. Once I had damaged the drive side spokes on my Raleigh due to a derailleur that failed(came apart). I didn't have time to fix the wheel so I went to a bike shop I trusted and spent $45 on relacing some spokes. I don't know how they do it that cheaply to be honest. I ride all my bikes frequently and feel that , for a hobby , I get a lot of value for $$ spent. I like what 3alarmer said about a trip to Las Vegas .... I don't gamble, drink or like crowds so bikes is me obsession!
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Old 09-27-21, 10:01 AM
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Completely a subjective situation.
"Restoration" takes many forms and means many different things to different people.
From disassembling and fully cleaning, to re assembly to re-paint, new decals, re-plating, new parts etc.
I think the OP may be thinking more on the lines of a stiff cleaning and maybe a decal or two.
I am fully restoring an older pre-war bike right now and am at $1400 with about $3-400 more to go. Thats cheap compared to many I've heard of, but I also do all of my own work except plating.
Then there is the fact that restoring an 80's Schwinn badged Panasonic would only be for the people that once owned one and developed an affection for them. They certainly are not rare or sought after bikes. Decent bikes, yes, worth spending a lot of money on.... not really, unless it's a personal thing. In perfect condition it will never be worth more than $200.
IE: I bought a 77' Super LeTour all Chrome in unused condition a while back and after a full clean it was as showroom new. Really. Seriously as new, not one mark.
It took 3 months and a lot of frustration to sell that bike for $275. And it was to someone that once owned one and wanted a nostalgia bike.

If YOU like it, do what you want.

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Old 09-27-21, 10:30 AM
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I think for those of us who consider it a hobby, it's pretty difficult to tease out all of the different line items that would lead to a thorough reckoning of the money we've, ahem, "invested" in a single bike. Finding freebies that give you useful parts, scavenging one project to build another, buying tools and learning to use them so you can do your own work -- all of these things allow for some creative accounting. Plus, there is the sweat equity of learning by doing, which is hard to quantify.

All of that above is a different scenario than restoring a single bike that either has sentimental value or is, for one reason or another, "the bike I need to have." To have someone else do all the work and to spare no expense on parts, preparation, and finish -- well, maybe $1,300 is perfectly reasonable. It's certainly less than having a custom bike built from scratch, but it's a lot more than a bike one builds by oneself. Again, though -- if you're not a tinkerer who looks for deals as a passtime, then it's not really fair to measure against that rubric.

Just enjoy your beautiful bike -- you may have paid more for your crankset and to have it installed than I would, but someone else was able to put food on the table because they had the job. We're all swimming in the same stream.
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Old 09-27-21, 10:48 AM
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Is yours one of the chrome ones ?

Thats a lot of money to put into a Schwinn thats not a Paramount, but those are fine bicycles from what i recall. Ive spent more than that

Ive spent the most on resto costs on my old DeBernardi because it is a sentimental favorite of mine -- i can only do a rough breakdown but it was

PAint/decals - $550
Wheelset $450
HEadset $105
Cassette - $100
Cranks/shifters $225
Bottom bracket $55
Bar Tape $25
Saddle $65

Thats at $1575 and i had some items in inventory already, like the post, Delta brakeset, bars/stem and tires

I also had my local shop do the assembly work so they could face the headset and bottom bracket area, and string the cables and housing etc -- that was probably another $250 in assembly costs and miscellaneous things ---- so thats up to $1825 for a bicycle i couldnt sell for more than $5 or 600
Rides like a dream though




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Old 09-27-21, 11:06 AM
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It can vary so much. I got a 1982 Lotus Classique for $175. As far as purchases, it only needed new hoods, new cables and housing, and new tires. The hubs, headset, and bottom bracket needed repacking but the bearings, cones and cups were fine. I added a new chain, but the old one was not very worn.

OTOH, I also got a 1982 Lotus Supreme for $150 and spent at least twice that on all the bits I needed.
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Old 09-27-21, 11:09 AM
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I did an 80s Cannondale SR900 bare-metal refurbish from a frame/fork that were free. It only cost me about $400, but again, the frameset was free, and I also used a ton of stuff I already had (crankset, brakes, seatpost & saddle, front wheel, and tools!).

So the $1,300 cost for the Schwinn rebuild sounds like a lot to me, but it always depends on your starting point, and whether you repurpose things or purchase everything specifically tailored for that build.
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Old 09-27-21, 11:14 AM
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I did spend $2700 total back in 2007, building up a late '80s/early '90s Battaglin frame, but I had it professionally repainted and kitted it out with then-current Chorus with a few more expensive bits like a Phil Wood BB and Chris King headset, and then a custom-built wheelset.
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Old 09-27-21, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
Is yours one of the chrome ones ?

Thats a lot of money to put into a Schwinn thats not a Paramount, but those are fine bicycles from what i recall. Ive spent more than that

Ive spent the most on resto costs on my old DeBernardi because it is a sentimental favorite of mine -- i can only do a rough breakdown but it was

PAint/decals - $550
Wheelset $450
HEadset $105
Cassette - $100
Cranks/shifters $225
Bottom bracket $55
Bar Tape $25
Saddle $65

Thats at $1575 and i had some items in inventory already, like the post, Delta brakeset, bars/stem and tires

I also had my local shop do the assembly work so they could face the headset and bottom bracket area, and string the cables and housing etc -- that was probably another $250 in assembly costs and miscellaneous things ---- so thats up to $1825 for a bicycle i couldnt sell for more than $5 or 600
Rides like a dream though
I think you sell that project short. You would get well more than $500-$600 out of that bike. That is a very well done build.

The way I look at any of these is what would you spend new. Would you be as happy with an $1800 new bike? As soon as you buy and ride that new bike, you won't get anywhere near what you paid for it.* I think it is funny that we think we should get 100% out of what we pay if we build something to ride. I had to get over that myself. Sometimes that is true, but other times it is not. Doing such a build to flip rarely works. I know I approach a "flip" bike very differently than one I intend to keep. If you love it, who cares what you spend.

*Last 12+ months excepted.
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Old 09-27-21, 12:51 PM
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After finishing the bankrolling of the bike if it becomes a special rider all will be forgiven though as some above have stated.

If I spent $1300 on the bike “love of my life”, I wouldn’t care.

...but again, learning to restore yourself pays dividends at all stages of addiction!
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1987 Crest Cannondale, 1987 Basso Gap, 1992 Rossin Performance EL, 1990ish Van Tuyl, 1980s Vanni Losa Cassani thingy, 1985 Trek 670, 1982 AD SLE, 2003 Pinarello Surprise, 1990ish MBK Atlantique, 1987 Peugeot Competition, 1987 Nishiki Tri-A, 1981? Faggin, Cannondale M500, etc...Need to do an N -1...



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Old 09-27-21, 01:22 PM
  #25  
squirtdad
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Bikes: 85 team Miyata (modern 5800 105) , '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) 80?? SR Semi-Pro 600 Arabesque

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for me it varies wildly, depending on what i am doing....I tend to using hi quality stuff as these are for my use.

my latest build, used heavily from parts I had in the inventory (pile of parts mess)

so I paid 170 for an SR Semi pro
panaracer pasela tires 60
conti race lite tube: 19
jagwire brake and shifter cables 30
rear rack 30

so direct cost of $310

but parts i had and reused would have been several hundred dollars cost if I had to aquire
Brooks B17
Velo orange postino bars
cork/rubber grips
tektro city levers
Tektro dual pivot brakes
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